Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide
Justice for Yezidi / Yazidi Survivors of Genocide

 

JULY 2021 NEWSLETTER

 

Dear friends,

The activities of the Free Yezidi Foundation over the last month can be found below.

In addition, we encourage you to join us on 2-3 August for a series of virtual panels to commemorate the Yezidi Genocide. The panels will review justice and accountability, youth, genocide recognition, gender and women's rights, security challenges, and a number of other pressing matters for our community as we mark this solemn day. Click for the full panel descriptions and list of speakers.

Thank you for standing with us.

The Free Yezidi Foundation and other Yezidi organizations and activists worked together to help provide relief to families in the Sharya IDP camp who lost their tents and belongings in a devastating fire. The Free Yezidi Foundation alone was able to distribute a total of $18,416 to the 133 families, as seen in the images above. A warm thank you to all those who made this possible. The support was much needed and very warmly appreciated.

After the fire, our mobile trauma team, which consists of one psychotherapist and ten Harikara (MHPSS field workers), increased their efforts to respond to this new crisis. Our psychotherapist had been engaged in therapy with some of the fire survivors already and she is continuing one to one sessions. Moreover, in order to extend services to more beneficiaries, she has started offering group sessions to women to increase their resilience and well-being. Our Harikara are doing field visits and helping the camp residents improve their mental health. The fire had a very demoralising effect on the mental health of the camp residents so we are having a enormous increase on the referrals to our psychotherapist from the field, from other humanitarian organisations and from our beneficiaries, for psychotherapy.  
On July 6th, the Parliament of the Netherlands recognized the Yezidi Genocide. On July 15th, the Belgian Parliament passed its recognition resolution. The Free Yezidi Foundation began in the Netherlands, and FYF has consistently advocated for genocide recognition by the governments and parliaments of the Benelux countries. These resolutions represented important steps forward for Yezidis. Pictured below: the unanimous 139-0 voting result in Belgium, the Parliament floors of Belgium and the Netherlands, and an FYF-led demonstration in front of the Netherlands Parliament in August 2014, when the Yezidi Genocide first began.

Unfortunately, thousands of Yezidi women and girls remain unaccounted for, even after seven years. This month a Yezidi girl was rescued from Deir ez-Zor, Syria. She had been missing since August 3rd, 2014. The Yezidi community continues the search for the missing and urges military and intelligence authorities to prioritize the rescue of abducted Yezidis.

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In case you missed it, FYF's seven-year Yezidi Genocide commemoration statement can be found by clicking here. The statement focuses on the following six themes:

- Bring Back Our Women and Girls!
- Just Implementation of the Sinjar Agreement
- Equal Opportunity for Yezidis
- The Yezidi Survivors' Law
- Better Conditions for IDPs
- Justice & AccountabilityThank you, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.CONTRIBUTE

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

In the News

Kurdistan 24 | Dutch parliament formally recognizes Yezidi genocide | FYF is quoted in this article expressing appreciation for the genocide recognition resolution passed by the Netherlands Parliament.

Rudaw | Netherlands, Belgium officially recognize Yazidi genocide | This article quotes FYF on the efforts to support genocide recognition resolutions in Belgian and Netherlands Parliaments.

Religious Freedom Institute | Strategies to Build Peace from the Ground Up: Protecting Religious Diversity, Coexistence, and Cultural Heritage in Iraq | The Religious Freedom Institute held a virtual conversation, including an FYF speaker, to discuss Iraqi diversity and promote religious coexistence (video recording available at the link).

PUK media | Belgian parliament recognizes ISIS crimes against Yezidi as genocide | The article addresses the vote of the Belgian Parliament to formally recognize the Yezidi Genocide.

Kurdistan 24 | Belgian parliament votes to recognize ISIS crimes against Yezidis as genocide | This article reviews the Belgian Parliament vote to recognize the Yezidi Genocide.

Kurdistan 24 | Belgian parliament committee recognizes Yezidi genocide | This article focuses on the Belgian Parliament's Committee on Foreign Relations decision to recognize the Yezidi Genocide.
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Dear friends,

We hope this email finds you well. This past month was full of both highs and lows, from inspiring graduations to devastating losses in Sharya IDP camp. Despite the challenges this month brought, we were nonetheless proud to see our community step up to support the Yezidi people in a meaningful way.

Early this month, a horrific fire ripped through Sharya IDP camp in northern Iraq, destroying hundreds of tents and the belongings of more than 1000 individuals. FYF raised over $18,000 to provide cash-based relief to affected families, helping them to rebuild. Tragedies such as this one underscore the ongoing issue of sub-par camp housing and the lack of reliable emergency services like fire and rescue. 

This month saw the graduation of our first cohort of bakery trainees from FYF's newest enterprise, the Sugar is Sweet Bakery in Khanke! This groundbreaking livelihoods project will train more than 100 Yezidi women each year in basic baking techniques, business skills, and business mathematics. We are so proud of our first group of graduates, a number of whom will be selected for upcoming employment opportunities in the bakery. We invite you to visit the bakery and training center, taste our sweet treats, and follow along on Instagram @sugarissweetbakery.

 

June was also a busy month for other engagements. On the 15th, FYF provided testimony and submitted evidence to the Belgian Parliament during their Yezidi genocide deliberations. In addition to providing a strong voice for humanitarian assistance and genocide recognition, Pari also highlighted the need to prosecute ISIS members for specific genocide-related crimes:


"If prosecutors only legally demonstrate Da'esh members as participating in terror, then I fear we have missed the fundamental purpose of justice for mass atrocity crimes. I therefore call upon all those with prosecuting authority, beginning in Belgium, to carefully examine the evidence and the crimes of Da'esh members."

FYF's Pari Ibrahim testifies virtually at the Belgium Parliament, June 2021

 

In the field, FYF hosted a week of consultations for Yezidi survivors to meet UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) officials for discussions around concerns and ideas about the recently passed Yezidi Survivors' Law. FYF's Waheeda Omer, pictured, led the effort from the FYF side. 


FYF clinical psychologist Yesim Arikut-Treece also led a discussion on her application of Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in the field for female genocide survivors at the EMDR Virtual2021 conference. From international advocacy and knowledge sharing to local engagement in civic processes, it was a challenging and rewarding month for FYF.Thank you, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.CONTRIBUTE

 

Sincerely,


Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

In the News

Washington Post | Fire burns through Yazidi displacement camp seven years after ISIS genocide | This article discusses the tragic Sharya fire, quoting FYF psychologist Mayan Hussein about the psychological implications of such tragedies.

Al Jazeera | Iraq's reparations law for Yezidi survivors is a positive step  | This article reviews the Yezidi Survivors' Law and Iraqi civil society organizations' (including FYF) recommendations for efficient and survivor-centered implementation.

K24 | New upgraded shelters in camp for displaced Yezidis after fire | This article discusses the response to the Sharya fire, quoting FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim regarding common sense steps UN agencies can take to provide safer housing.
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MAY 2021 NEWSLETTER

 

Dear friends,

 

We hope this email finds you happy, healthy, and safe as we transition from spring into summer. This past month was full of important events that we are eager to share with you. UNITAD made an official determination of what we already know: that the extensively documented ISIS crimes committed against the Yezidi people constituted genocide. This represents a step forward in international recognition of the Yezidi Genocide and prospects for justice. FYF celebrates this step, while cautioning that such determinations must be met with concrete action in the pursuit of justice for ISIS crimes.

 

In the beginning of May, Free Yezidi Crafts & Enterprise, the artisan branch of the recently opened FYF Enterprise and Training Center, participated in a U.S. Consulate bazaar in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Our intricate handwoven carpets, rugs, and crocheted pieces were an instant hit - selling more than 27 items in the span of a few hours! The event generated a buzz about our quality Yezidi-made handicrafts, which you can peruse here. Orders can be placed via email to info@freeyezidi.org or through direct message on our Instagram page linked above.On May 12th, the Free Yezidi Foundation provided testimony to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom hearing about genocide determination. In the statement, FYF's Pari Ibrahim emphasized the Yezidi community's solidarity with the Rohingya and Uyghur people and the importance of timely genocide recognition for survivor communities. Further, she cautioned that the Yezidi community's 74th genocide should be viewed as ongoing - highlighting the fact that nearly 3,000 abducted Yezidis remain unaccounted for and the effects of the genocide still impact daily life.The following week, FYF co-hosted an event with the Wilson Center's Middle East Program to discuss geopolitical challenges faced by Yezidis in both Iraq and Syria. The panel discussion addressed ongoing needs in the Yezidi community - from mental health and psychosocial support to security and infrastructure - but also highlighted the threats faced by Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and northern Syria. Scholars, including Amy Austin Holmes of the Wilson Center and Nadine Maenza of USCIRF in particular, emphasized the destabilizing role that Turkish airstrikes and Turkish-backed militias have played across the region in recent years. A video recording of the stimulating conversation can be found here.We hope you will find these events, conversations, and incredible handicrafts worthwhile and of interest. Thank you, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.CONTRIBUTE

 

Sincerely,


Pari Ibrahim
Founder and Executive Director

In the News

North Press Agency | Ethnic cleansing of Yezidis continues in Turkish-occupied Syria, say activists and experts | This article reviews the May 19th Wilson Center event, where panelists discussed the fate of religious and ethnic minorities in northern Syria.

Rudaw | Yezidis call for action to bring home loved ones kidnapped by ISIS | This article quotes FYF about the renewed international campaign to account for the almost 3,000 Yezidis who remain missing after being abducted by ISIS in 2014.
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Dear friends,

We write to you today with heavy hearts. On Friday, a large fire broke out in Sharya IDP Camp in northern Iraq, one of 15 camps housing over 16,000 displaced Yezidis who escaped the 2014 genocide. In total, 370 tents were burned. 184 families, comprised of 994 individuals living in those tents, lost all of their properties and belongings. These families are currently without shelter, food, and other basic necessities.

Sharya Camp, Iraq, June 2021

We are humbly asking you to join our campaign to raise funds to support these families and to help us address this emergency situation. We are joined in this campaign by a group of Yezidi NGOs and activists working together to collectively fundraise for the families. All funds raised will be pooled and divided equally among the 184 families, with a steering committee overseeing the distribution of funds. Whether you can donate $5 or $500, every donation counts. Will you join us?


 

Photo Credit: Washington Post, Ismael Adnan/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP

 

Donate here on GlobalGiving.

 

Events like these show us that Yezidis are unfortunately still experiencing the impact of the 2014 genocide. Thank you for your support and solidarity with the Yezidi community.Sincerely,


Pari Ibrahim
Founder and Executive Director

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HAPPY YEZIDI NEW YEAR!

 

Dear friends,

 

 

 

Each year, Çarsema Serê Salê - or the Yezidi New Year - brings the promise of rebirth, hope, and life to the Yezidi people.

On the heels of such a trying year, we are particularly grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the joy that the Yezidi New Year represents with you. While our celebrations may be smaller and more socially distant than in years past, we welcome Çarsema Serê Salê and the opportunity to begin anew that it represents.

The Yezidi community still faces many challenges - more than six years of displacement, a burgeoning mental health crisis, particularly among younger community members, absence of justice, and the daily struggle to make ends meet. However, we are hopeful that the coming year will bring more opportunities for healing and rebuilding in the Yezidi community. 
 
We wish Yezidis and our supporters happiness, health, and safety in the year to come. Happy New Year, and thank you for your solidarity with Yezidis and the Free Yezidi Foundation.

 


Sincerely,


Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok, NA Iraq
$32,179 raised of $100,000 goal
 
221 donations
$67,821 to go
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